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The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 2 Summary
He is Set Upon by Adversities; but He Sings a Song Eustacia marches home after her fight with her mother-in-law and yells to Clym about his mother. Clym is upset and demands to know what's up, but Eustacia refuses to repeat what was said. Later, Thomasin visits Clym and tries to console him about the situation. She also brings Clym his share of the inheritance money; Thomasin had spoken with Mrs. Yeobright and the truth about the money finally came out. Clym starts studying harder so that he can move Eustacia into a nicer house and make her happier. But he studies so hard that he completely ruins his eyes. Seriously, Clym studies himself blind. Let this be a cautionary tale. The doctor tells Clym that he'll have to rest his eyes for months and that he won't be able to read. So Clym's plan to open a school is a bust and he decides to become a furze-cutter for the time being. Eustacia is horrified. Clym is pretty happy as a furze-cutter and spends his day working hard, communing with nature, and singing lovely French songs. Eustacia overhears him singing and loses it. She basically accuses him of ruining her life and then singing about it like a jerk. Clym insists that there's nothing wrong with his current job and that Eustacia shouldn't be a snob and ought to look on the bright side. Eustacia goes home, angry and crying.
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